Matt The Franchise Guy - Industry Q & A

Franchise Consulting With Matt Stevens The Franchise Guy Of Options Where Do You Begin

Provide an overview/ description of your industry.

Franchising is a huge component of the US economy, involved in more than 80 industries. Strong franchise systems are catalysts which aid franchise owners to create for themselves an uncompromised existence and/or retirement with structured support and development at all phases of the growth curve.

How has your industry changed in the last 10 years?  20 years?  

The greatest change in the franchising industry has been to add time-saving, frustration-reducing technology to basic businesses engaged in property and personal services. P&L’s, outstanding bids, marketing efforts and results per zip code, streamlined customer communication – all of it enabled because of the half-million dollars a strong franchisor paid to develop and utilize exceptional tech programs. Unique, local franchise business have grown multiple-fold in revenue due to ambition partnered up with new tech.  Secondly, franchisors have realized the benefit of sharing best practices, cross-marketing, and affording additional growth opportunities to individual franchise owners which has resulted in billions of dollars in venture capital money entering the franchise space to improve franchisor systems, technology and supportive manpower capacities, while also adding “sister” companies through mergers and acquisitions which benefits every franchisee via shared best practices and simple transition and additions when a single franchise owner goes from being a star owner of a single franchise to being a star operator of 3 different franchises all housed under one larger company. The result? I’ve received calls from new candidates who were 20-something or 30-something janitors, superintendents, retail store managers, stay-at-home moms, etc. – they bought a single or double territory of a service franchise, built it, then bought into a sister franchise company of a similar territory area and built it, resulting in their owning a multi-branded, 7-8 figure annual revenue business within just a few to several years. 

What trends do you see in your industry over the next 5 years?  Next 10 years? 

The responses I just provided will be exacerbated. We will begin to see franchisees running 8-figure businesses under 2-3 different sister brands within one parent company, some of which will have begun with as little as a 5-figure investment of borrowed funds.

What is the biggest concern about your industry that a franchisee candidate should be aware of and investigate? 

Big positive outcomes are the result of persistent problem solving. Our culture is morphing into one where people exude increasingly poor communication skills, thoughtless “ghosting” behavior, a crazy level of self-importance, and a woeful work ethic. The franchisee who tenaciously endeavors to create solutions here creates favorable outcomes and is properly rewarded.

Why do you think your company stands out in the industry? 

Franchise consulting is not known for longevity among consultants. I first placed a franchisee in 1992. My consulting practice stands out because I’m personally involved with every single candidate, because I care, because I’m competent, and because I’m finite. I work with no more than 25 unique candidates at any time. If we’ve agreed to work together, you’ll have my attention, my expertise, my resources, and my interests, even if we discover that franchising isn’t for you.

What makes your franchise/ business opportunity more attractive than your competitor’s?  

Unfortunately, many franchise consultants toss company names at a you and thereafter provide no useful instruction, insight or advice of any kind; but they’ll still be paid if you buy any of those franchises they fired at you. We’ll engage in timely, relevant, insightful dialogue and contemplation throughout your franchise review.

Describe the ideal candidate.  Do you think your requirements are any different than your competitor’s? 

My ideal candidate is purposeful, curious, effusive, engaged, and open-minded whether we achieve desired outcomes in 3 months or 3 weeks. My competitors can be limited in the quality of franchise systems they share with candidates, which could certainly affect any requirements, if any, which they place on their candidates.

What’s the strongest skill you require in a candidate?  

Not a certain skill; various franchise systems require different traits and can leverage myriad skills to the franchisees’ benefit.  For me to invest my time and expertise, the candidate must have a compelling reason for making a change in their career or for adding to their existing portfolios; without that, they won’t make the investment.

Describe the working environment of your franchisees.  Is your environment typical of other companies in your industry? 

Indoors / Outdoors / Home office / Shared Office / Mobile / Active / Semi-Absentee / Absentee… there are great franchise systems engaged in all of those working environments, and I place candidates appropriately in each.

Why has your company been successful?  

We’re committed to honesty and excellence, and I won’t introduce an unfit franchise system to anybody.

What advice would you give someone interested in buying a franchise?  

Enter the review process with an open mind. Be humble enough to learn. Be prepared to learn that what you thought was true, isn’t.  Lastly, franchising is a successful industry because franchisees make it work.

How much experience in this industry should a franchisee candidate have should they consider buying a franchise in your industry? 

Zero industry experience is necessary to be a quality candidate within a strong franchise system and model. 

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